Let’s see if you’re an emotional eater …
So, you want to lose weight? Please read this description below and tell me if this sounds like you?
It’s 10:01 pm and boredom has taken over. You might have had a bad day and the chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream are screaming your name. So frustrated that you stuff as many cookies as you can in your mouth. Then afterwards, you feel disgusted and sad with yourself. Guess what? You’re an emotional eater.
Unfortunately, me too. Humans are naturally fueled by our emotions and it can be one of the biggest downfalls for us. Especially those of us who would like to lose weight.
I have been heavier set all my life. Since I was a child I had a grandmother and mother who would throw down in the kitchen. I’m talking steak, fried fish, collard greens, cornbread and anything else that packs on the calories.
Now, have felt the scrutiny of gaining weight from the foods I was eating. Even though I was an active child that loved to play, the food I ate just kept adding to my waistline.
Eventually, I gained so much weight that it led to me developing a low self confidence, self esteem, and becoming an emotional eater to numb the pain away.
Whenever I was bored, I would eat. If I was sad, I would eat. Any emotion that I felt would result in me eating.
I eventually went from 180 pounds to a whooping 250. Being super devastated when I stepped on the scale, I ate out of emotion.
So far, I have lost 10 pounds in about two weeks and I am ecstatic to share my tips on how I was able to lose 10 pounds in two weeks.
KEEP A JOURNAL WITH YOU
Personally, I believe that being able to express your emotions is one of the hardest thing for people to do.
When I first started my weight loss journey, I needed a space to express how I was feeling.
I wrote in my journal everyday. I wrote the food that I ate that day and how I was feeling during that time.
For example, if it was noon and I just ate a chicken salad for lunch but I was frustrated because I looked bloated even though I was eating healthy, I would write that down.
WHY IS A JOURNAL IMPORTANT?
When you are an emotional eater, bottling up your emotions can lead to a downward spiral where you look for the nearest food spot for comfort.
It is best to release your emotions in a healthy way that allows you to be as vulnerable as possible.
Sometimes I can be very introverted and expressing my emotions to other people will make me feel as though I am inconveniencing people or dragging them down.
Even though that might not be the case at all, I didn’t want my friends to feel like I was putting a ton of pressure on them. Having a journal allowed me to track my emotions and make goals at the same time!
My favorite journal is this one that I ordered from Amazon!
I love this journal! it is a daily tracker, a designated goal list, and a calendar. This helped me look at the habits that I was making as well that would hold me back.
One of those habits that caused me problems was my bored eating. You may be just like me! When I would get bored and my motivation was low, I would google the nearest taco bell to get a $5 box. Even if I was healthy all day, I was bored.
Eventually I noticed what I was doing and due to me being truthful with myself, i was able to see a habit that was holding me back.
You need this tracker and guess what? Here’s the link for their 2021 journal!
DON’T MAKE WEIGHT LOSS GOALS WHEN EMOTIONAL
Weight loss can be one of the most frustrating but rewarding things. However, as an emotional eater you need to think about losing weight as rationally as possible.
When I would be feeling ugly or disgusting with myself for gaining weight, I would make very unrealistic goals of losing 5-6 pounds a week. Sometimes even 10 pounds a week.
I bet you read or listened to that and thought, “I’ve done the same thing…is it not possible?” Let’s get uncomfortable here.
The farther away you are in regards to your weight that your body is supposed to be at, the quicker you are to lose weight.
What I mean by this is for example, if at your height and age your ideal weight is 175 pounds and you are 350 pounds, you will drop weight extremely quick due to the weight difference and shock that you are doing to you’re body.
That is why so many people can lose 10 pounds in one week because of how far away they are to their “ideal” body weight.
DOES THAT MEAN THAT I CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT FAST?
No, it just means that you have to stop comparing your body and weight loss journey to other people.
Especially as an emotional eater, weight loss can be a very sensitive topic. This can make you really question how to lose weight.
You need to realize that when you are emotional you can not make realistic goals and when you do not hit those goals you become even more destructive and disappointed in yourself.
I noticed this myself. When I would look back in my journal, I would notice that I would make a goal to lose 30 pounds in one month. I did this AFTER I stepped off the scale and felt disgusted with myself.
When I didn’t lose that 30 pounds, I would be so discouraged with myself that I would binge eat again.
Do not make goals when you are emotional.
After I realized that, I decided to make realistic goals of losing 2-3 pounds per week. This was more attainable for me and it was better for me when I would weigh myself and would have lost MORE than what I anticipated.
Less disappointment and more excitement due to achieving higher than what I anticipated!
CHANGE YOUR EMOTION DRINKS/ FOODS
Okay, I am not someone who drinks alcohol or anything but we all have our guilty pleasure when we are frustrated or feeling emotional.
Mine is ice cream. Listen here, when I get emotional ice cream is my go to treat. It makes me feel happy and fulfilled until its over.
One time I was so depressed that I ate ice cream everyday for about 2 months. Imagine the money I spent and weight I gained. Yikes.
Due to me realizing that, I had to start thinking of a simple alternative to eat when I was emotional. I sat and thought for a while what I also liked as a healthy alternative.
Then it hit me, I love tea. While I am very aware that tea is NOT ice cream. It is something that I enjoyed and I could drink very often without feeling guilty but I still enjoyed it.
Served iced or hot, it was devoured and it did not make me feel guilty.
Which was my favorite?
My favorite tea to drink was the Yogi Blueberry Slim Life Tea.
I loved that tea because it had a natural blueberry taste so even without a little bit of honey, it was delicious.
Also, the tea helps with your digestive system and I noticed that it helped a ton with my BLOATING! YES BLOATING!
The reason why I love this is because it kept me motivated to see that even though the scale had not moved much, my stomach was looking flatter.
I also drank the Yogi Blackberry Apple Cider Vinegar Awakening Tea as well and I noticed that with the combination of both I really noticed a difference with my weight loss.
The best thing is that these teas are affordable!
But, since I am a broke college student, I bought the variety pack and LOVED IT! Plus, because I am a tea lover the variety pack was great because they all helped with weight loss and they were nice fruity tasting teas. You can get them here!
Find alternatives to your favorite unhealthy pleasures that you still enjoy!
TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING
Not a new topic but this has been a game changer for me
I chose to do a 16:8 fast where you have an eight hour eating window and you fast for 16 hours.
That consisted of me skipping breakfast and drinking tea/water. Specifically the Yogi teas I mentioned earlier.
The reason why intermittent fasting helps people who are emotional eaters is by building a habit that helps you feel less hungry.
After a couple of weeks where I got into the habit of intermittent fasting, I was no longer craving breakfast as soon as I woke up or when I was going to bed.
Sometimes as an emotional eater we tend to look for a quick snack to make us feel better but when you are not craving it, you don’t go for it.
Give yourself a couple of days to fast and see how that makes you feel.
The best part is that you will be retraining yourself to learn when enough actually is enough. This reduces the extra cravings, and overeating to compensate your feelings.
Fasting also helps to provide mental clarity and it helped me to understand the cycle of my emotional eating.
For example, I was super disappointed that I didn’t get approved for this ad thing for my blog. While it’s not a big deal, I didn’t like that it said that I wasn’t qualified. Why?
Due to that, I sat for a minute and allowed myself to feel sorry. I thought it would help me out of the disappointment if I allowed myself to feel some sense of pity.
Surprisingly, I felt 50-50. Part of me started to feel motivated while another part of me felt like I could’ve done more.
I began to ask my self these questions:
What are you feeling? I had to be truthful with myself. Especially since I had so many feelings and these helped so I didn’t relapse. The next time that you’re dealing with an emotion, stop before reaching for the food and ask yourself this question first. Then ask:
What caused you to feel this way? At times that I felt sad about not qualifying I had to determine what really caused my to feel this way. I soon discovered that I really wasn’t working on my blog hard enough. When you are feeling some emotion that makes you want to eat, find the root as to why you feel this way.
What is your action plan? My action plan was to work on my blog more. In this moment, what is yours? Will yours be to work on something else? Will you focus on your confidence? Find an action plan other than eating and distract yourself.
Start Doing Gentle Exercises
At times I would begin to feel anxious, frustrated, disappointed, and aggravated for myself when things where not going the way that I wanted them to.
Eventually that lead to me sneaking to the kitchen and eating a bag of shredded cheese out of misery. Which then lead to me feeling even more guilty with myself and stuffing my face with ice cream.
The endless cycle of sorrow.
Here is the uncomfortable truth, if you want to shed weight 80% of it is nutrition but another 20% of it is exercise. So, while you can lose weight just eating alone, that extra exercise will boost your results.
But don’t jump into hardcore exercises.
Start off slow by going on a walk when you’re starting to feel emotional
Maybe start doing some yoga or Pilates.
Eventually I started going for walks on my local trail and the scenery distracted me a lot from what I was feeling. Due to the snow, I cannot go to the trail anymore so instead I do home workouts!
To be very honest, I just find things on YouTube.
Whenever you are feeling a sense that makes you want to eat, go on YouTube and find some very easy workouts.
You might like breathing exercises and some days you might like an easy kickboxing beginner course. Whatever you like, do it.
It has been scientifically proven that exercising helps to improve your mood but that doesn’t mean go and do the hardest workouts. Please don’t.
Take it easy on yourself.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
This is the most important one.
I know you may want to lose weight and you probably want to lose weight fast but you need to understand the importance of taking things slow.
Especially as an emotional eater who probably has an emotional eating disorder, constantly putting pressure on yourself to lose weight in a certain time will actually be worse for you.
Remember that with an emotional eating disorder and being an emotional eater, emotions are what drive you to become unstable. Failure, sadness, frustration, etc. are all emotions.
That’s why you need to take your time when it comes to planning your weight loss goals and making realistic goals that are actually attainable.
Being an emotional eater is difficult
Understanding this emotional eating disorder will truly help you to gain control and feel more comfortable and confident in making healthy choices.
Using these tips can help you gain the confidence to take control of your life.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any advice or you have any concerns. Plus, don’t forget to get my free emotional eater tracker.
The goal of the tracker is for you to learn more about yourself and discover when you feel the most imbalanced with your emotional eating disorder.
Feel free to check out my other posts as well!